Advice for first time buyers
It’s the result of searching for the right place, negotiating the sales process, getting that all important deposit in order and navigating the mortgage application process, but it’s an amazing feeling when you finally get the keys to your new home.
Of course, the first time you do anything you are also learning as you go along, so there’s lots of complicated terminology and processes that first-time buyers need to get to grips with. This can be overwhelming, particularly right now, when many crucial conversations are taking place virtually.
Here are some tips to help you navigate the house buying process:
Get your finances in order
Being a first-time buyer means getting on top of your finances. Whether you’ve always been good with money or you’re someone who winces when their bank statement comes, this is one stage of your life when you need to be very aware of your financial circumstances because it can have a direct impact on your ability to buy a home.
As part of your preparations, you should check your
credit report with a credit reference agency like Experian or Equifax and address any issues that are identified with debts that need to be paid off. It can be tempting when saving is your focus to ignore debts, but these need paying too, so that you can get offered a better mortgage rate.
It’s also worth gathering together the information you’ll need when applying for a mortgage, which may include:
- Utility bills
- Tax forms
- Your last three months’ payslips
- Bank statements from the last 3-6 months
- A passport or driving license to prove your identity
Do your research into costs
While looking into your finances you also need to look ahead to what else you will need to be paying as part of buying a home. You will be exempt from Stamp Duty on homes up to £500,000, but there will still be fees to pay for solicitors and mortgage arrangement, plus insurance, moving costs and any new furniture and furnishings you will need.
If you’re buying with Laurus, you’ve got the chance to personalise your home before you move in, selecting from the upgrades and options, depending on the build progress. Meanwhile the blank canvas that a new home brings means you will be able to save on DIY and repairs costs that might be a factor if you were buying a previously-owned home.
Find your perfect home
Of course, the most fun part of becoming a first-time buyer is finding the home you want to buy. When it comes to knowing which home is right for you, why not draw up a list of the criteria that are most important to you? At Laurus, we have many homes built for modern living which are ideal for first-time buyers, with plenty of space and attention to detail, located in beautiful surroundings across Cheshire and Lancashire.
It’s also worth considering whether Shared Ownership is an option for you, letting you buy between 25% and 75% of the home and pay monthly rent on the rest. This can mean you need a lower deposit and many homes across our developments are able to be purchased through the Shared Ownership scheme.
Speak to a financial advisor
As you won’t have been through this process before, the financial aspects of it can be daunting, so getting independent advice from an expert is a good way to make sure you are getting the right, unbiased information and the best mortgage deals that are out there. A mortgage advisor can help you get your mortgage in place and then you’re ready to put an offer in for your dream home.
If that dream home is a Laurus home, you can make an appointment at one of our Sales Centres and reserve your plot with our Sales Advisor.
Another of the areas where you will need expert assistance is when it comes to the legal side of buying a home, so you will need a conveyancer or a solicitor to help with these aspects. This is a role that was traditionally undertaken by solicitors but is increasingly done by specialist conveyancers. They’ll prepare the legal documents, deal with the Land Registry, draw up contracts and transfer the money.
When it comes to finding a conveyancer or solicitor, it’s worth looking out for one who offers a ‘fixed fee’ service so that you don’t get any nasty surprises further down the line and know what you’re paying up front. No-sale, no-fee conveyancers are worth considering as you won’t need to pay them if the sale doesn’t go through.
Some of the other things to consider when you are buying your home include finding gas and electricity suppliers as well as arranging your broadband and satellite or cable TV suppliers and notifying them ahead of your moving in date. You’ll also need to think about insurance. Home insurance isn’t a legal requirement, but buildings insurance may well be a condition of your mortgage offer.
You may also want contents insurance and life and critical illness insurance to cover your mortgage in the event of your death, which is especially important if you have a young family. These can all add to the additional costs you need to factor in when working out how much you can afford to pay towards a mortgage each month.
Buying your first home is one of the most exciting experiences you can go through, especially because you will end it with your very own brand new home. These tips should help make the experience run much more smoothly, but if you have any questions, get in touch with our Sales Advisors today!